breaking news

Fairgrounds get $50k to rebrand site as Champions Park

Coalition seeks to help Springfield businesses with drug epidemic

A local coalition created to fight the drug epidemic in Clark County spoke with business leaders Wednesday about its role in the public health crisis.

The Clark County Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Support Coalition held a forum to make business leaders aware of ongoing efforts in the community to create drug free workforce policies for local companies, as well as other policies to help employees seek treatment, said coalition member Kristina Downing of Express Employment Services.

RELATED: Clark County leaders pledge to fight addiction stigma, OD crisis

Several business leaders signed a pledge to support the coalition.

“We have a role to play as employers,” Downing said. “We have a tremendous opportunity to affect peoples’ lives. If we do nothing more than educate and maybe refer (to other services), we can be the start of turning this tide.”

The majority of the 79 drug deaths in Clark County last year involved heroin and illicit fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin. There have been 77 suspected drug deaths this year, including 51 confirmed drug deaths, according to the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

As of Monday, local law enforcement has responded to 720 calls for overdoses, including 559 by the Springfield Police Division and 161 by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Last year, local law enforcement agencies responded to 493 overdoses.

About 70 percent of people abusing illicit drugs are employed, according to the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Drug abuse and addiction costs employers about $81 billion annually, according to the council.

RELATED: Springfield mom indicted after daughter gets help during suspected OD

Employees in active addiction miss 10 work days for every one day missed by other employees and are only about two-thirds as productive as other employees, McKinley Hall CEO Wendy Doolittle said.

Companies who take action through drug testing, education and second chance programs can improve morale, decrease workplace accidents, reduce employee thefts and turnover and increase productivity, she said.

The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Champaign Counties was one of 17 Ohio communities recently selected to participate in the Working Partners Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative.

RELATED: Overdose leads Springfield police to hotel with drugs, 3-year-old

The board received a $20,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Recovery Services to kick-start the program, said Tracey Stute, director of treatment, prevention and support for the recovery board. It will assist employers in creating drug-free policies, helping employees in need seek treatment and create second chance approaches, if applicable.

Five companies participated in drug-free workforce technical assistance training this week, Stute said. Another round of training will be available for five more companies later this year.

“The policies can affect the needs of your company,” Stute said. “It may be different for someone in manufacturing. That’s where policies can support practices.”

The coalition is planning four more forums this year with different groups, including faith leaders, schools and the general public.


Springfield churches unite to open recovery house for addicts

Drug, overdose epidemic never-ending battle for Springfield police

Overdose epidemic spreads, strains Springfield first responders

Demand for, debate over Narcan soars in Springfield

Clark County to charge addicts who OD and don’t seek treatment

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

How to win an argument at work - or stop one before it starts
How to win an argument at work - or stop one before it starts

No one expects to navigate the work world without the occasional argument. And it's nice to "win" when you're in the right. »RELATED: Does birth order affect you in the workplace? But what really matters more than besting your manager or co-workers in an argument is how you handle the conflicts that are an inevitable part of work, ...
8 easy, money-making side gigs for teens 
8 easy, money-making side gigs for teens 

Whether it's the teen who'd like extra money for things like clothes or gas or a parent who'd like to see their high school or college-aged child get off the couch when school’s out, a part-time job can be a wonderful thing. »RELATED: Apple hiring for work from home positions Of course, child labor laws dictate how young is too young...
Macy’s ‘fine-tuning’ staffing at some stores
Macy’s ‘fine-tuning’ staffing at some stores

No Macy’s stores will close in the Dayton region in the near future, but staff changes could occur, according to a company spokeswoman. “We are fine-tuning our staffing needs in some of our smaller stores to better tailor our in-store resources with business needs and expectations, while providing the best possible customer service experience...
Walmart reportedly cutting more than 1,000 jobs
Walmart reportedly cutting more than 1,000 jobs

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reportedly cutting more than 1,000 corporate jobs. The Wall Street Journal reported the retailer is cutting jobs at its headquarters, which comes as Walmart announced its store workers will receive raises and bonuses. Walmart employs more than 1.5 million people in the U.S., plans to cut more than 1,000 corporate...
Ohio-built Accord named car of the year
Ohio-built Accord named car of the year

A sedan built by workers in Marysville was named the 2018 Car of the Year, the third year in a row a Honda model has received the award. The 2018 Honda Accord, which began rolling off the assembly line in Marysville last year, beat out the Kia Stinger and Toyota Camry to claim the honor. RELATED: Honda, major Clark County...
More Stories